The Kennedy Center Awards and the Crisis of the Times

The Obamas’ theatrical giving of the Leftover-from-the-Sixties awards at the Kennedy Center – Led Zeppelin, which today provides the nerve-wracking background noise in grocery stores and Dustin Hoffman who hasn’t had a real job since 1967 – fully manifests the crisis in Washington, D.C. South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint asked recently about something else with some honest frustration, “We need new people.” You’d think President Obama would do better as he is second generation himself and doesn’t belong to this crowd and in his campaign autobiography clearly crowned the Leftover-from-the-Sixties Democrats as his target to displace so as to awaken again a new and vital liberalism. So how’s that working out?

Markos Moulitas, with hopes of ushering in a generation of Iraq war veterans into the political process, well represented new and better thinking and suggested Virginia’s then governor Mark Warner, Virginia Senator Jim Webb, General Wesley Clark and Vermont Governor Howard Dean at a time when Obama began to rise and Hillary hovered around zero percent at Daily Kos (really).

“Will these Clinton-era Democrats ever go away?” asked Kos in a Washington Post essay in the day. The answer is not so easily will they go into the good night, and herewith lays the crisis. Young conservatives should ask today as well as once – oh, so long ago – governor of Florida Jeb Bush, who landed his helicopter near the White House last week in symbolism more course and conspicuous than any we have seen the likes of since the Soviets claimed to have invented corn flakes, “Will these Bush era Republicans ever go away?”

The answer to both questions is YES but DeMint is right to ask. Conservatives are better off with a presence and suggestion of new people: Senator Rand Paul of Tennessee, Senator Mike Lee of Utah, Joe Miller sure to rise in Alaska and the most talented and energetic Ted Cruz, the new senator from Texas, and possibly the one to establish the new paradigm in conservatism. Because today’s Republicans are not conservative: They are anti-liberal. And today’s Democrats are not liberal, they are anti-conservative. Like Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty they go over the waterfall together.

There is no conservative party in America today but Ron Paul is Gray Champion to the new thinking which arose in the Tea Party and will awaken in what Grover Norquist calls Tea Party II: In six words, states’ rights, sound money, constitutional government. It forms a new matrix for new people and a new generation.

We enter this month an end game as per the Mayan Prophecy. The fall is at hand, but things don’t break because storms challenge New York or comets obliterate the earth. They break because cultures, liberal or conservative, refuse to let go. They cannot adapt to new thinking and cling instead to the old, the worn through, the irrelevant. And this year they marched David Letterman into the Kennedy Center. David Letterman? Previous awards have gone to Leontyne Price, Fred Astaire, George Balanchine, Ella Fitzgerald, Henry Fonda, Martha Graham, Tennessee Williams, Count Basie, Alvin Ailey, George Burns, Merce Cunningham, Isaac Stern, Cary Grant and Jimmy Cagney. These celestials today welcome Letterman into their sanga. Can there be any greater harbinger of the end times?

Bernie Quigley is a prize-winning magazine writer and has worked more than 30 years as a book and magazine editor, political commentator and book, movie, music and art reviewer. His essays on politics and world affairs have appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Philadelphia Daily News and other newspapers and magazines. He has published poetry in Painted Bride Quarterly and has written dozens of magazine articles. For 20 years he has been an amateur farmer, raising Tunis sheep and organic vegetables. He has written hundreds of columns for “Pundits Blog” in “The Hill” a political journal in Washington, D.C. He lives in the White Mountains with his wife and four children.